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Treading the crude consistence, half on foot,
Half flying; behoves him now both oar and sail.
As when a gryphon through the wilderness
With winged course, o'er hill or moory dale,
Pursues the Arimaspian, who by stealth
Had from his wakeful custody purloined
The guarded gold; so eagerly the fiend
O'er bog, or steep, through strait, rough, dense, or

rare,
With head, hands, wings, or feet, pursues his way,
And swims, or sinks, or wades, or creeps, or flies.

MILTON ON HIS BLINDNESS.

Hail, holy Light, offspring of heaven first born,
Or of the Eternal coeternal beam
May I express thee unblamed ! since God is light,
And never but in unapproached light
Dwelt from eternity, dwelt then in thee,
Bright effluence of bright essence increate.
Or hear’st thou rather, pure ethereal stream,
Whose fountain who shall tell ? Before the sun,
Before the heavens thou wert, and at the voice
Of God, as with a mantle, didst invest
The rising world of waters dark and deep,
Won from the void and formless infinite.
Thee I revisit now with bolder wing,
Escaped the Stygian pool, though long detained
In that obscure sojourn, while in my flight
Through utter and through middle darkness borne,
With other notes than to the Orphean lyre,
I sung of chaos and eternal night;
Taught by the heavenly muse to venture down

The dark descent, and up to reascend,
Though hard and rare: thee I revisit safe,
And feel thy sovran vital lamp ; but thou
Revisit’st not these eyes, that roll in vain
To find thy piercing ray, and find no dawn ;
So thick a drop serene hath quenched their orbs,
Or dim suffusion veiled. Yet not the more
Cease I to wander, where the muses haunt
Clear spring, or shady grove, or sunny hill,
Smit with the love of sacred song; but chief
Thee, Sion, and the flowery brooks beneath,
That wash thy hallowed feet, and warbling flow,
Nightly I visit: nor sometimes forget
Those other two equalled with me in fate,
So were I equalled with them in renown,
Blind Thamyris, and blind Mæonides,
And Tiresias, and Phineus, prophets old;
Then feed on thoughts, that voluntary move
Harmonious numbers; as the wakeful bird
Sings darkling, and in shadiest covert hid
Tunes her nocturnal note. Thus with the year
Seasons return; but not to me returns
Day, or the sweet approach of even or morn,
Or sight of vernal bloom, or summer's rose,
Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine ;
But cloud instead, and ever-during dark
Surrounds me, from the cheerful ways of men
Cut off, and for the book of knowledge fair
Presented with a universal blank
Of nature's works to me expunged and rased,
And wisdom at one entrance quite shut out.
So much the rather thou, celestial Light,
Shine inward, and the mind through all her powers
Irradiate; there plant eyes, all mist from thence
Purge and disperse, that I may see and tell
Of things invisible to mortal sight.

SATAN IN PARADISE.

In bower and field he sought, where any tuft
Of grove or garden-plot more pleasant lay,
Their tendance, or plantation for delight;
By fountain or by shady rivulet
He sought them both, but wished his hap might find
Eve separate; he wished, but not with hope
Of what so seldom chanced ; when to his wish,
Beyond his hope, Eve separate he spies,
Veiled in a cloud of fragrance, where she stood,
Half spied, so thick the roses blushing round
About her glowed, oft stooping to support
Each flower of slender stalk, whose head, though gay,
Carnation, purple, azure, or specked with gold,
Hung drooping unsustained; them she upstays
Gently with myrtle band, mindless the while
Herself, though fairest unsupported flower,
From her best prop so far, and storm so nigh
Nearer he drew, and many a walk traversed
Of stateliest covert, cedar, pine, or palm ;
Then voluble and bold, now hid, now seen,
Among thick-woven arborets, and flowers
Imbordered on each bank, the hand of Eve:
Spot more delicious than those gardens feigned
Or of revived Adonis, or renowned
Alcinous, host of old Laertes' son;
Or that, not mystic, where the sapient king
Held dalliance with his fair Egyptian spouse.
Much he the place admired, the person more.
As one who long in populous city pent,
Where houses thick and sewers annoy the air,
Forth issuing on a summer's morn, to breathe
Among the pleasant villages and farms

Adjoined, from each thing met conceives delight;
The smell of grain, or tedded grass, or kine,
Or dairy, each rural sight, each rural sound;
If chance, with nymph-like step, fair virgin pass,
What pleasing seemed, for her now pleases more;
She most, and in her look sums all delight:
Such pleasure took the serpent to behold
This flowery plat, the sweet recess of Eve,
Thus early, thus alone.

MILTON.

EXTRACTS FROM PARADISE REGAINED.

ROME.

He brought our Saviour to the western side
Of that high mountain, whence he might behold
Another plain, long, but in breadth not wide,
Washed by the southern sea, and, on the north
To equal length backed with a ridge of hills,
That screened the fruits of the earth, and seats of men,
From cold septentrion blasts; thence in the midst
Divided by a river, of whose banks
On each side an imperial city stood,
With towers and temples proudly elevate
On seven small hills, with palaces adorned,
Porches, and theatres, baths, aqueducts,
Statues, and trophies, and triumphal arcs,
Gardens and groves presented to his eyes,
Above the heighth of mountains interposed,
(By what strange parallax or optic skill
Of vision, multiplied through air, or glass
Of telescope, were curious to inquire :)
And now the Tempter thus his silence broke :

and see

“ The city which thou seest, no other deem Than great and glorious Rome, queen of the earth, So far renowned, and with the spoils enriched Of nations; there the Capitol thou seest, Above the rest lifting his stately head On the Tarpeian rock, her citadel Impregnable; and there mount Palatine, The imperial palace, compass huge, and high, The structure, skill of noblest architects, With gilded battlements, conspicuous far, Turrets, and terraces, and glittering spires : Many a fair edifice besides, more like Houses of gods, (so well I have disposed My aëry microscope,) thou may'st behold, Outside and inside both, pillars and roofs, Carved work, the hand of famed artificers, In cedar, marble, ivory, or gold.

“ Thence to the gates cast round thine eye, What conflux issuing forth, or entering in : Prætors, proconsuls to their provinces Hasting, or on return, in robes of state, Lictors and rods, the ensigns of their power, Legions and cohorts, turms of horse and wings; Or embassies from regions far remote, In various habits, on the Appian road, Or on the Emilian : some from farthest south, Syene, and where the shadow both way falls, Meroe, Nilotic isle ; and, more to west, The realm of Bocchus to the Black-moor sea; From the Asian kings, and Parthian among these, From India and the Golden Chersonese, And utmost Indian isle Taprobane, Dusk faces with white silken turbans wreathed From Gallia, Gades, and the British west: Germans, and Scythians, and Sarmatians, north Beyond Danubius to the Tauric pool. All nations now to Rome obedience pay.”

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